UCLA snuck back into the Associated Press poll a week ago, and will almost certainly drop out again on Monday after a loss to unranked Utah.
This is what the Bruins are now: a borderline top-25 team that followed up its first win over a ranked team with a 74-69 loss in Salt Lake City.
After beating No. 21 Colorado on Thursday, they opened the afternoon in Salt Lake City with a sloppy effort on both ends. The awful first half — 31 percent shooting, 48.3 percent allowed — sank UCLA, whose late run fell short before a crowd of 12,267 at the Huntsman Center.
After scoring a season-low six points at Colorado on Thursday, Kyle Anderson finished with a career-high 28 points, with 13 coming before halftime. He also chipped in seven rebounds and seven assists, but coughed the ball up five times.
He shot 10 of 16 from the field. His teammates were a combined 17 of 47.
Utes, which had lost four games by nine combined points, led 30-18 with less than four minutes left in the first half. UCLA had missed 11 straight field goals until Travis Wear’s jumper cut the deficit to 10.
The Bruins entered the break with a season-low 26 first-half points, then proceeded to miss six of their first seven shots. They trailed by 17 with just over 12 minutes left in the second half.
Utah turnovers opened a small window for UCLA, but the visitors couldn’t take advantage. An 11-0 run cut the Bruins’ deficit to four with 5:35 left. After Dakarai Tucker’s 3-pointer at 2:34 stretched the Utes’ lead to nine, the Utes committed back-to-back turnovers in the last 92 seconds.
Zach LaVine answered with a triple of his own, but Jordan Adams’ ensuing jumper was ruled a 2-pointer. An official review showed that his right toe had just touched the line.
Utah, which finished 15-of-17 from the line, drilled three five free throws in the final minute to maintain the cushion.